Last month MBW reported that Spotify was planning to launch in the Middle East and North Africa this November. Deezer just beat them to it.
And if that’s not enough of a headache for Spotify, the launch follows the signing of the exclusive digital distribution agreement between Rotana Group and Deezer in August.
Rotana Group-owned Rotana Records is claimed to be the biggest record company in the Middle East, and now the only place the region’s residents can stream its music is on Deezer.
The app is tailored for local users in each country and includes playlists and content curated by local music editors such as PopTop Arab, Rapstars Maghreb United and Shaabi Essentials.
Users who sign up for Deezer can now automatically access all content in Arabic if their language preference is already set to Arabic.
Deezer is also offering new users in the region six months of its Premium tier for free.
“The biggest and main beneficiary will be the artists who are signed with Rotana.”
Salem Al-Hindi, Rotana
Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Deezer (pictured, inset) said: “We are really excited to bring Arabic listeners a unique and unrivalled blend of the best exclusive Arabic music and the most popular international tracks in one place.
“We are also proud to now offer music fans the Deezer app in Arabic, with an affordable premium offer as well as the opportunity to try Deezer for free.”
“At Deezer we understand that people’s music tastes combine local and international tracks. We believe that it is important to be present locally, close to the artists we promote on our platform and to the local music fans who support them.
“In the coming months we will be opening a new regional headquarters in Dubai, which will help us grow our presence further.”
Hans-Holger Albrecht, Deezer
“In the coming months we will be opening a new regional headquarters in Dubai, which will help us grow our presence further. While overall streaming levels are still relatively low in the Middle East and North Africa, we are convinced that they will continue to grow rapidly and we look forward to being a key part in creating and capturing that growth.
Salem Al-Hindi, CEO of Rotana Audio & Video Group added: “As Rotana is the first and leading Arab music company in the world to have always surpassed many other companies in the digital music world, we realized that it was time to conclude a partnership agreement with Deezer, a world leader in high quality music, in order to reach the largest segment of users in the MENA region and in many parts of the world.
“This agreement will certainly benefit both parties and the biggest and main beneficiary will be the artists who are signed with Rotana, as well as all music lovers in the Arab music.”
Music Business Worldwide